Wewahitchka, Florida – Six corrections officers and an inmate were injured in a major gang riot at Gulf Correctional Institution in Florida’s Panhandle Wednesday morning, officials said.
The uprising happened about 8 a.m. and spread across several dorms before it was brought under control, according to Michelle Glady, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections.
Glady said the victims were transported to local hospitals and their injuries were non-life threatening. The prison, near Panama City, remains on lockdown.
Further details were not available from the agency. However, sources said the riot involved more than 20 inmates, many of them members of gangs.
The proliferation of gangs in state prisons has caused an uptick in violence over the past two years. Corrections officers have long complained about short staffing and working long hours, making it difficult to properly secure prisons.
“This has been building and the bomb keeps getting bigger and bigger and more explosive for these men and women we ask to guard these prisons,” said John Rivera, president of the Police Benevolent Association, which represents state corrections officers.
There were unconfirmed reports that at least six rapid response teams responded to the prison, as well as the local sheriff’s department.
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